Thursday, 21 September 2017

Culture Means Culture

I've been quite quiet on here in recent weeks. I've been saving up my brain power as, as of today, I am once again an official student!

Enrolment Day at KCL

I'm already a little bit exhausted, and I definitely chose the wrong shoes, but I'm also exhilarated after meeting the others on my course and the inspiring professors who will be guiding us throughout the year.

We've been laden down with course materials, and I will be spending every extra penny I can scrape together on books from the Recommended Further Reading lists.

Getting Started

I've made a start on a couple of the required reading sources, and I'm raring to go:

The first article calls for a rethink of the ways in which we teach, and think about, performing arts,; arguing that performance doesn't have to mean 'staged', and that performative action is seen in many aspects of day-to-day living.
When I think about this, I realise that many aspects of my own life could be seen as performative (aside from the *actual* performances) - when I work in retail, the interaction between customer and server follows a definite pattern, like a script.

By eliminating the 'performance' from performance, it becomes more accessible across disciplines. The Bacc For The Future campaign argues for the importance of the arts in the curriculum, and incorporating elements of performativity into other subjects could be a way of engaging future generations of practitioners and thinkers. 

Arts and culture can be seen as elitist, but if we think of our own interactions as a type of performative action: from political protest chanting, to singing along with a band; dancing at a club, putting on make-up in the morning, etc - we realise that culture creates Culture, and that the Culture (identity, customs and ideas) of a community or country is defined by, and dependent on, the culture (arts, literature, etc) it produces, as much as culture is a reflection of the society that creates it.

And that's just from the first piece of source material!

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